By working with the right people, and using the right tools at the right time, we can save kiwi.

Sir Graham Henry releasing a kiwi chick

Our Saving the Kiwi strategy has been put together in consultation with partners such as DOC, iwi, the Kiwi Recovery Group, and kiwi scientists and experts. To harness the strength of our relationships with community-led kiwi conservation, Saving the Kiwi concentrates on working with North Island brown kiwi.

The most effective tool we currently have for growing kiwi populations quickly is Operation Nest Egg™ (ONE™), a programme where eggs are taken from vulnerable areas of the wild to secure hatching facilities. Chicks hatch and are raised in a predator-free environment and are released back to areas where pest and predator control programmes are in place. An intensive ONE™ programme was used with rowi kiwi, beginning in the mid-1990s when there were as few as 150-200 birds left. There are now around 500 rowi, showing how ONE™ coupled with an effective pest and predator control programme can provide the ideal conditions for kiwi numbers to increase.

Saving the Kiwi adapts this proven technique for use on a larger scale with North Island brown kiwi. The strategic use of kōhanga increases within the programme by using ONE™ chicks to establish permanent founder populations within kōhanga. The offspring of these kiwi will then be moved back to predator-controlled habitat to bolster existing populations or create new ones.